Coolmore on classic trail at Newmarket

Coolmore will put her Classic ambitions to the test in the Lanwades Stud Nell Gwyn Stakes at Newmarket today.
Coolmore on classic trail at Newmarket

A full sister to last season’s dual 2000 Guineas hero Gleneagles, Coolmore enjoyed a solid if unspectacular juvenile campaign for Aidan O’Brien.

The Cashel maestro houses current 1000 Guineas favourite Minding and has another major contender in Ballydoyle.

Coolmore is a Guineas outsider, having proved no match for Minding when fourth in last season’s Fillies’ Mile, with O’Brien on a fact-finding mission back at Newmarket.

He said: “We think she’ll stay further and the purpose of going is to see whether we’ll go back for the English Guineas.

“We always thought maybe the Irish Guineas and then step up to a mile and a quarter.

“Seven furlongs will be tight enough for her, but it will give us a feel.”

Coolmore has ground to make up on John Gosden’s Fillies’ Mile runner-up Nathra.

Connections are hoping she can earn a place in the Qipco-sponsored Classic on May 1.

Bruce Raymond, racing manager for owner Abdullah Saeed Al Naboodah, said: “She’s been in good work for some time on the Waterhall gallop.

“I’ve seen her work and I think she’s fit enough, but she’s obviously going to improve.

“The 1000 Guineas is her target.”

Godolphin are represented by dual course-and-distance winner First Victory.

Following a narrow maiden success in September, Saeed bin Suroor’s filly followed up in the Oh So Sharp Stakes the following month.

“She is doing very well, working well and she is ready to go,” said Bin Suroor.

“It is a good race, but we are hoping to see a good run from her.”

Richard Hannon’s Illuminate sets the standard on form.

The Zoffany filly won last summer’s Duchess of Cambridge Stakes before being touched off by Lumiere in the Cheveley Park and finishing sixth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf.

She concedes weight to each of her rivals on her seasonal return.

Hannon said: “She’s a nice, neat filly who has done very well over the winter but the ground is important to her.

“The plan is to run her in the 1000 Guineas and the ground is normally pretty quick at Newmarket by then.”

Irish trainer Joe Murphy is looking forward to saddling Only Mine, who won a Listed prize on the Rowley Mile last autumn.

He said: “She’s in good form and we’re keen to find out whether she’ll stay. Her pedigree suggests she should, but she does have a lot of speed.

“She’s drawn in stall 14 and which way they’ll go we’ll find out on the day.

“Pat Smullen rides her now after Tipperary was called off and he knows her well.

“We’ll find out whether she’ll stay seven furlongs or whether we need to be going back to six.

“She’s healthy and well and we’re on a fact-finding mission.

“I’d say it’s as good a 1000 Guineas trial as you’ll find.”

Marco Botti’s Aljazzi has been declared a non-runner following an unsatisfactory scope.

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